June 3, 2021

SEC and CFTC File Civil Complaints Against Fund Sponsor and its Portfolio Managers and Enter into Settlement Agreement with Chief Risk Officer on Related Allegations

On May 27, 2021, the SEC and CFTC filed civil complaints against LJM Funds Management Ltd. and LJM Partners Ltd. (each of which is a registered investment adviser and commodity pool operator; collectively, LJM), and two LJM portfolio managers, Anthony Caine and Anish Parvataneni relating to an options…

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March 15, 2021

Additional Semi-Transparent ETF Sponsor Receives Amended Exemptive Relief to Use “Custom Baskets”

The SEC recently granted amended exemptive relief for Blue Tractor, a sponsor of semi-transparent ETFs (ST ETFs), to permit ST ETFs that rely on Blue Tractor’s relief to create and redeem creation units with authorized participants (APs) in exchange for “custom baskets” (Amended Relief). This relief is similar to amended…

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March 8, 2021

SEC Releases FAQs on New Rules Establishing Updated Regulatory Framework for Fund Valuation Practices

The staff of the SEC’s Division of Investment Management (Staff) has released responses to frequently asked questions (FAQs) related to the adoption of rules 2a-5 and 31a-4 under the 1940 Act (Rules).   Rule 2a-5 establishes requirements for satisfying a fund board’s obligation to determine fair value in good faith for…

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March 5, 2021

Mutual Fund Sponsor Receives Approval for First Mutual Fund to ETF Conversion

Two mutual funds advised by Guinness-Atkinson, Guinness Atkinson Asia Pacific Dividend Builder Fund and Guinness Atkinson Dividend Builder Fund (Guinness Atkinson Funds), recently received a declaration of effectiveness from the SEC on a Form N-14 registration statement to convert into SmartETFs Asia Pacific Dividend Builder ETF and SmartETFs Dividend Builder…

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February 11, 2021

Two Semi-Transparent ETF Sponsors Receive Amended Exemptive Relief to Use “Custom Baskets”

On February 9, 2021, the SEC granted amended exemptive relief for two sponsors of semi-transparent ETFs (ST ETFs) to permit these ST ETFs to create and redeem creation units with authorized participants (APs) in exchange for “custom baskets” (Amended Relief). ST ETFs are ETFs that generally do not disclose their full portfolio holdings each day before trading begins on the stock exchange where they are listed. The Amended Relief was granted in response to separate applications filed by Invesco and Natixis relates to “proxy portfolio” ST ETFs. Rather than disclosing its entire portfolio, a proxy portfolio ST ETF discloses a portfolio of other securities and assets that are intended to be highly correlated with the ST ETF’s portfolio securities.

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February 8, 2021

Independent Directors Council Submits Comment Letter on Federal Trade Commission’s Proposed Amendments to Premerger Notification Requirements

The Independent Directors Council (IDC) recently submitted a comment letter on the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) notice of proposed amendments to the premerger notification rules (Proposed Amendments).  These rules govern premerger notification filings that the FTC uses to determine in advance whether transactions are likely to be anticompetitive under the…

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January 25, 2021

SEC Staff Grants No-Action Relief from Section 17(f) of the 1940 Act and Rule 17f-2 Thereunder with Respect to Self-Custody of Loan Interests

On January 13, 2021, the SEC staff (Staff) granted no-action relief pursuant to Section 17(f) of the 1940 Act and Rule 17f-2 thereunder with respect to certain funds (Funds) or their directors or officers if the Funds, each acting as self-custodian of its assets, maintain custody of loan interests pursuant…

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December 30, 2020

Invesco Receives Relief from the SEC to Launch Semi-Transparent ETFs

Invesco Capital Management LLC (Invesco) recently received exemptive relief from the SEC to launch semi-transparent, actively-managed ETFs registered under the 1940 Act (ST ETFs) that follow a “proxy portfolio” model.  ST ETFs are ETFs that generally do not disclose their full portfolio holdings each day before the open of trading. …

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December 23, 2020

SEC Amends Rules to Facilitate Electronic Submission of Documents

In light of the public health concerns and logistical challenges facing registrants due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as technological developments in the authentication and security of electronic signatures, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has voted to adopt amendments to Regulation S-T and the Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis…

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December 18, 2020

Pricing Service to Pay $8 Million to Settle SEC Charges

The SEC recently settled charges against a global securities pricing service and registered investment adviser (Pricing Service), for compliance deficiencies relating to its delivery to clients of prices for certain categories of fixed-income securities based on quotes it received from a single market participant (single broker quotes).  According to the…

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